TOWN OF OCONOMOWOC - The school board voted at a special meeting Thursday, April 20, to approve a cost-sharing agreement for infrastructure at the site of the new Meadow View Elementary School, and to authorize superintendent Roger Rindo, board president Don Wiemer or vice president Sandy Schick to execute closing documents for purchase of the land.
Also related to the property, the board was put on notice by state Department of Natural Resources to be on the lookout for Native American burial and effigy mounds while clearing the site.
Wiemer and outgoing board member Mike Bickler assured colleagues that any discovery of mounds on the site would not derail the project.
"Bones won't stop us from building," Wiemer said flatly.
"The cost of sending a bulldozer over will be shared by everyone," Bickler said, referring to site development partners including the city of Oconomowoc and St. Matthew's Lutheran Church. The city plans to develop a park and St. Matthew's will build a new school.
If mounds are discovered, Bickler added that the state "will look for a tribe to claim" any remains. "The bones will be moved and reburied somewhere else."
Board member Kim Herro, who voted "no" urged delaying the vote to a regular meeting April 25, citing fatigue after a lengthy closed session to discuss Rindo's potential job offer from a Minnesota district near the Twin Cities. Rindo has since withdrawn his name as a finalist for the job.
"I'm exhausted, I'm pooped, I've been in this room for five hours," Herro said.
Herro called for a full discussion of possible uses for that site.
"Not one decision has been made" on the future of the present Meadow View, Wiemer responded. He said the district has received a proposal from a buyer to convert the school to senior housing, but stressed that "we will have the same discussion as we did before buying the Miller property" for the new Meadow View.
The board then unanimously passed a resolution to place the future of the Meadow View site on a future agenda.
"We'll have plenty of time to discuss the disposition of the building and the 80 acres we own," Wiemer said afterwards, noting that the present school will be used for two more years.